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Grateful Dead Unveil 'Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings' 60-Disc Box Set!

February 10th, 2011 8:35pm EST

Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead slipped the shores of America and crossed the pond for its first-ever major European tour in April 1972. The legendary 22-show run spawned Europe ’72, a live triple album that remains one of the band’s best-selling and most beloved releases. A tour this momentous deserves a boxed set of historic proportions and Dead.net has stamped your passport to relive every note from the European tour with EUROPE ’72: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS—an individually numbered, limited edition collection that includes more than 60 discs with over 70 hours of music featuring every show from what is arguably the Grateful Dead’s greatest tour.

EUROPE ’72: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS is housed in a replica steamer trunk reminiscent of the ones prevalently used at the time. Along with the music, a vast majority of which is previously unreleased, the travel chest contains tour memorabilia, a coffee-table book with never-before-seen photos, and a comprehensive essay by noted Dead author Blair Jackson. Each performance will also be accompanied by an essay specific to the show written by top Dead scholars including David Gans, Gary Lambert, Nicholas Meriwether, and Steve Silberman.

Jeffrey Norman, the primary mixer of the Dead’s archival multi-track material for the past 15 years, is mixing each show from the original 16-track recordings, with the high-tech Plangent Processes transfer and restoration tools used to bring the master tapes back to life. Two-time Grammy®-winning engineer David Glasser is mastering the music to HDCD specs. While many of the recordings heard on Europe ’72 were sweetened in the studio after the tour, those tracks will be included in this collection without overdubs, where possible.

Due to ship in September, the boxed set is available exclusively from Dead.net, which will take orders beginning on January 19. The price of the collection is $450, which works out to the remarkably low price of about $20 for each show, or roughly the cost of a transatlantic flight from New York City to London in 1972 (price of time machine not included).

EUROPE ’72: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS will truly be a labor of love and might “need a miracle” to happen. Due to the manufacturing costs of this ambitious project, if 3,000 orders are not received by April 1, the collection will unfortunately be cancelled. This isn’t a gun-to-your-head sales pitch but is simply the reality behind making an ambitious release of this magnitude happen.

PRZ-001009_T.JPGAs a thank you to all the Dead Heads who help make this collection happen, the first 3,000 fans to order will have their copy personalized with a name requested by the purchaser. Once the 3,000 order goal is reached by April 1, Dead.net will continue to take orders through the summer but will limit production of the collection to a maximum of 7,200 pieces, all of which will be individually numbered. Orders will no longer be taken at some date (to be determined) later in the summer. Once the order window ends, this collection will never be available for sale again and will be manufactured specifically to total orders, up to 7,200 maximum. Additionally, to reward those loyal fans who have to wait until September to get their bounty, Dead.net will periodically provide exclusive content (music, photos, and more) in the coming months to all those who have placed an order.

While its sheer size is formidable, what makes EUROPE ’72: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS such a landmark set is that it captures a defining moment in Grateful Dead history filled with its share of firsts and lasts.

The tour offers a snapshot of a band at the top of its game, still ascending in the wake of three straight hit albums—Workingman’s Dead, American Beauty, and the live Grateful Dead (“Skull & Roses”). It had been a year since the lineup had gone to its single-drummer configuration, six months since Keith Godchaux had been broken in as the group’s exceptional pianist, and this marked the first tour to feature Donna Godchaux as a member of the touring band.

There was a ton of new, unreleased material that came into the repertoire in the fall of ’71 and during the spring of ’72, including “Tennessee Jed,” “Jack Straw,” “Mexicali Blues,” “Comes A Time,” “Ramble On Rose,” “One More Saturday Night,” “Black-Throated Wind,” “Looks Like Rain” and Pigpen’s “Chinatown Shuffle,” “The Stranger (Two Souls In Communion)” and “Mr. Charlie.” (Sadly, this was Pigpen’s final tour.) All those future classics were interspersed with songs from the aforementioned “hit” albums—such as “Uncle John’s Band,” “Casey Jones,” “Sugar Magnolia,” “Bertha,” and “Not Fade Away”—and then were topped off by loads of big jamming numbers—the Europe ’72 tour produced spectacular versions of “Dark Star,” “The Other One,” “Playing in the Band,” “Truckin’,” “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider,” “Good Lovin’,” “Lovelight,” and even the early Pig chestnut “Caution.”

Grateful Dead Europe 1972 Tour Dates -All shows included in their entirety:

April 7                          Wembley Empire Pool, Wembley  
April 8                          Wembley Empire Pool, Wembley  
April 11                        Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle  
April 14                        Tivolis Koncertsal, Copenhagen  
April 16                        Aarhus University, Aarhus  
April 17                        Tivolis Koncertsal, Copenhagen  
April 21                        Beat Club, Bremen  
April 24                        Rheinhalle, Dusseldorf   
April 26                        Jahrhundert Halle, Frankfurt  
April 29                        Musikhalle, Hamburg  
May 3                           Olympia Theatre, Paris  
May 4                           Olympia Theatre, Paris  
May 7                           Bickershaw Festival, Wigan  
May 10                         Concertgebouw, Amsterdam  
May 11                         Rotterdam Civic Hall, Rotterdam  
May 13                         Lille Fairgrounds, Lille  
May 16                         Theatre Hall, Luxembourg  
May 18                         Kongressaal - Deutsches Museum, Munich  
May 23                         Strand Lyceum, London  
May 24                         Strand Lyceum, London  
May 25                         Strand Lyceum, London  
May 26                         Strand Lyceum, London

 

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Photo Credits: Rhino Records , PR Photos